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Hannah's Gift [Kindle Edition]

Maria Housden
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.64
You Save: $4.36 (31%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Every once in a while a book comes along that can change your life–a book so special, it is destined not just to be read but to be cherished, to be passed from one reader to another as a precious gift. Filled with wisdom and grace, tears and laughter, Hannah’s Gift is one such book. Within these pages Maria Housden shares the transformative lessons in living she received from her three-year-old daughter Hannah, who brought courage, honesty, and joy to her struggle with cancer.

During the last year of her short life, Hannah was fearless in the way she faced death–and irrepressibly joyful in the way she approached living. The little girl who wore her favorite red Mary Janes into the operating room changed the life of everyone who came in contact with her. Now, in a book that preserves Hannah’s indomitable spirit, Maria Housden offers the gift of her daughter’s last year to all of us.

In a lyrically told narrative, both moving and unforgettable, Housden recounts Hannah’s battle with cancer in simple, straightforward language that transcends grief and fear to become a celebration. From Hannah’s story emerge five profound lessons–of truth, joy, faith, compassion, and wonder–that have the power to change our lives.

During her illness Hannah showed how we can truly live in the moment and break free from lives suffocated by too many unlived joys. Even more memorable is the message Hannah delivered after her death to those she loved–a message of hope for anyone faced with the deepest questions of life and death.

Hannah’s Gift nourishes the soul with an ageless wisdom all the more invaluable for having come from someone so young. A remarkable story, remarkably told, it will bring comfort to anyone touched by loss, and renewed faith in the
power of love.

Closing her eyes and extending her arms, Hannah began to dance. Oblivious to everything but the shoes on her feet, she skipped and clicked across the floor, twirling in circles, faster and faster. There was something about her pure joy and the defiant nobility of the red shoes that caught everyone’s attention....

The true measure of a life is not its length but the fullness with which it is lived

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Hannah's Gift addresses a mother's deepest fear: the death of a child. Amazingly, Maria Housden's skillful writing and mature understanding of grief make this a spiritually inspiring story about life. Housden is eager for us to learn all the lessons Hannah offered while she was dying of cancer, such as wearing red shoes that click and sparkle when you walk and never letting a doctor touch you without knowing their first name. For the reader, however, the most compelling character is Housden, a mother who endures the unfathomable. One morning Housden looks at her face in the mirror and realizes, "The grief that once threatened to swallow me up had found a home in my bones. My suffering wasn't something I was going to have to let go of; it became part of what I had to offer, part of who I am." Sure, you're going to cry. But it's the kind of heart-cracking-open cry that comes from an abundance of feelings: sorrow for this wise and gut-honest narrator; tenderness for Will, the loyal older brother that Hannah left behind; and love for this baffling, wonderful life that gives us gifts like Hannah. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

In Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived, Maria Housden delivers a lyrical, heartbreaking and heartwarming account of her three-year-old daughter's illness and death. Among the values she learns from her extraordinary child's experience are joy, a Buddha-like stillness, candor and openness. When Hannah's seven-year-old brother asks the author questions about death, Hannah is fascinated and declares that she wants to be a butterfly when her body dies. When their church has a special service to honor and pray for Hannah, she's delighted. Housden, too, offers readers a gift, particularly those seeking to help a loved one through the process of dying and themselves through the grieving process.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 285 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (December 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBFO0A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,697 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Superbly Well-done Maria! March 1, 2002
It says that I have the opportunity to be the first one to review your book through Who would have known that the spiritual connection between myself and the author, Maria (Martell) Housdan would guide me to this place to review a book that is so real and so utterly uncannilly true, because I was there, not in the forefront,but as one of Will's teachers who couldn't help to try and be totally present in the life of this family; mother Maria, son Will and daughter Hannah..Sweet Hannah in her red sparkling shoes. For all of you readers out there, as you read this book, you will find that not only is Maria Housden an incredible, inspiring and motivated author, but the story she tells is so painstakingly true, that for all of us mother's, or anyone else that has the priveledge to read this book and find yourselves "living" the story, I am almost speechless to the powerfulness of this truth as to what it might feel like to lose a child, a very old soul like that of Hannah, in the "earthly" realm of existence we call LIFE, and yet go on living and learning and transforming through the stages of grieving. The teachings that this story offers are done so in such a brave and honest way, that it gives me and I hope all of you who read "Hannah's Gift"; deeper clarity about "living joyfully in the present" and establishing a place in our lives where EGO does not rule. Where there is divine spiritual connection, one can find inner peace and harmony despite the challanges put forth to us in daily living! My tears did flow while reading this book,and although I am a very sensitive person, I think that anyone who reads Maria's book will be touched and possibly changed forever..Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts to all of you, especially to you my friends, Maria, Will and Hannah! I miss you all so much, please write me. Congradulations on another step in your journey!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hannah's Gift: A Lesson in Both Grief & Joy April 29, 2002
Hannah's Gift belongs right alongside Michael J. Fox's Lucky Man on every bookshelf in the world. Nearly everyone will brush up against cancer at some point in their lives, but most of us are totally unequipped in terms of squeezing the very last drops from an ebbing life. Hannah's Gift does just that. Maria Housden addresses grief without sugarcoating its fabric and its entity. In a hospital scene, she captures the crunch of fear with a poet's quill: "There was no room in that tiny space for anything but two chairs and the truth." Housden also captures the joy, the impulsiveness, the treasure and lesson of a life that teaches us how to address the rest of ours. Hannah's red shoes, the symbol of her rich vision and carefree embracement of a moment, enrich the canvas of ours. I have loaned out this book so often that the binding is broken -- but I firmly believe it is a story that must be shared. Housden is self-effacing in her treatment of her own poignant courage, but you will see it there between the lines you absolutely can't forget.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Red Shoes" July 9, 2003
By M Lib
One wonders if there has been an increase in the sale of red all sizes...following the publication of this book...? Red shoes exemplify Hannah's zest for life. As adults, Hannah's story reawakens our own desire for zestful living, our own need for "red shoes."
Even though my son Jim died at the age of 23 rather than 3, Hannah's joyous spirit reminded me very much of my son as well as of the many children whose parents I've been honored to meet (following the death of their children).
Maria Housden's gentle prose distinguishes this book from many books written by bereaved parents. Hannah's life, rather than her family's grief, is the primary focus of the book. Hannah taught her family great lessons on "how to live life more fully." Hannah's legacy continues as readers learn much about life, death, and grief through Hannah's example.
This book should be on the bookshelves of bereaved parents, nurses, physicians, and all caregivers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grateful for Hannah's Gift December 5, 2002
By Erin
I was moved and inspired by the lessons and truths in this book. One of the lovelist aspects of Hannah's Gift is the way the author shares her story; simply and with such humanity that the messages really reach out and touch you.
A friend of mine says that although having a massage when she hurts is painful it is a 'grateful pain' because she knows it is helping her heal. Hannah's Gift hurt to read but it was a 'grateful pain'.
Maria Housden shares with you her lessons of Truth, Joy, Faith, Compassion and Wonder and illustrates them with intimate recollections of Hannah's last year and the path she travelled in coming to terms with her grief. I felt I was very much carried along on her journey. I was amazed at how the narrative had me crying from the bottom of my heart. There are also moments of touching tenderness and happiness which touched me just as deeply.
I think that Hannah's Gift is much more than just a book for those struggling with grief, it is an inspiration for those seeking to "live all the days of their life".
I bought this book a few days ago and have read it three times since. I have now given it to my Mum and bought another copy for a friend whose father recently died. I highly recommend Hannah's Gift.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible, Beautiful, Sad Journey May 24, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beginning with John Gunther's DEATH BE NOT PROUD, there have been many poignant and touching books written, tragically, by parents who have lost beloved children. Hannah's Gift is different than all becuse it is the story of a very young girl who died at the age of four of cancer, but whose lasting legacy was to change the lives of all who loved her -- and, at the same time, live the end of her much too short life with dignity, grace and joy. It is also beautifully written in very surprising ways that come right off the page and grab a reader who will never forget many of the moments of this amazing book. I am the mother of a seven year old girl, and for me, one of the most astonishing moments in any book I have ever read comes near the end of Hannah's Gift. At Hannah's burial, her mother writes that the family decided to bury Hannah instead of cremate her because "I wanted to be able to come to her grave and know that the little hands I held and the form I had loved were there." Need I say more? The book is a must read for...everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those grieving the loss of a child
Having lost a baby in our family I got this book for my sister. It really did help her grieve and think about the baby in a different way. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rainy
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching
This is a very well written memoir.
I related to many portions of the book from losing people in my life.
Keep a box of tissues nearby.
Published 9 months ago by D. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
The subject was obviously heart wrenching, but there were momemts of laughter that are priceless. I passed it on to my teenage daughter who also enjoyed it.
Published 13 months ago by sher
5.0 out of 5 stars It's true
This is the first book to make me cry. I'm a tough person that doens cry at anything. I loved this book so much I read it again.
Published 17 months ago by Laura Majer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book,
Should be required reading for every parent of an ill child and every doctor and nurse who treats ill children.
Published 18 months ago by R. Medsker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Excellent read for those who like to read about the truths of s medical illness and a child. HANNAH had touched my heart and soul and I will never forget this story.
Published 23 months ago by Jennifer Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars My first BOOK
It was my first book that I really finished it in less than 2 weeks and enjoyed reading it (I cried and laughed). its the book that made me get hooked to reading. Read more
Published on December 30, 2012 by Aisha Alali
4.0 out of 5 stars Perspective
This book was beautifully written and brought me to tears on several occasions. By the end of the book, I truly felt that I had gotten to know Hannah through the words of her... Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Three years old and wise beyond her years . . .
If you have never known and loved a little one who passed away, this book gives you some sense of the love and loss of a little girl. Read more
Published on November 1, 2010 by Mary R. Meyer
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